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Perchtoldsdorf, Austria

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-IAPP-2008 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2009

Complex freeform structures are one of the most striking trends in contemporary architecture. So far, design and manufacturing of such structures are based on digital technologies which have been developed for other industries (automotive, naval, aerospace industry). Architecture differs from these traditional target industries of CAD/CAM technology in many ways including aesthetics, statics, structural aspects, scale and manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing architectural freeform structures requires the segmentation into panels, which may be either flat, single-curved or double curved. In the present proposal, we investigate the problem of building architectural freeform structures from single-curved panels. From the mathematical perspective, this leads to the new semi-discrete surface representations, which constitute a link between smooth and discrete surfaces and can be studied with methods from differential geometry and computational mathematics. To meet the practical requirements, solid knowledge and large experience in architectural design and engineering is essential. Three partners joined to meet the challenges in this field: (1) TUW, an academic institution with deep fundamental knowledge in applied geometry and geometric computing, (2) Evolute, a high-tech research start-up specializing in geometric computing for architecture and manufacturing and (3) RFR, an established engineering office with world wide experience, specialized in non-conventional lightweight structures and with relevant experience in freeform design.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP-2009-4.0-5 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2010

poliMATIC - Automated polishing for the European Tooling Industry For the manufacturing of tools 12 to 15 % of the manufacturing costs and 30 to 50 % of the manufacturing time are allocated to polishing. As current automated polishing techniques are almost not applicable on parts with freeform surfaces and function relevant edges like 95% of the tools, the polishing is predominantly done manually. Therefore the overall objective of poliMATIC is to strengthen the competitiveness of the European Tooling Industry by overcoming the current drawbacks of die and mould finishing by realizing automation in laser polishing and force controlled robot polishing. Both processes already achieve low roughnesss on flat surfaces. But the critical step to bring these demanding processes into production is the polishing of freeform surfaces. To achieve this, the following significant technological innovations are needed: (1) Process development to achieve a roughness of Ra=0.05 m (laser polishing) / Ra=0.005 m (robot polishing) on freeform surfaces (2) The development of a knowledge-based CAM-NC data chain to make the new technologies usable for end-users (3) The development of a new surface metrology framework for polished surfaces. Current measures are insufficient to express e.g. the visual impression of a polished surface Laser and robot polishing offer potential to strengthen the European Tooling Industry by a significant decrease of polishing costs (75%) and time (90%). In 5-7 years this will result in expected annual savings of manufacturing costs for tools of 150 Mio. Euros and in reductions of the time-to-customer by 27 to 45 %. The shorter time-to-customer will stimulate new demands. In conjunction with the decreased costs this will lead to a regain of world market shares and therefore relocation of labour back to Europe. PoliMATIC will contribute to the transformation of the resource intensive tooling industry into a knowledge-based one.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.41M | Year: 2016

ARCADES aims at disrupting the traditional paradigm in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) by exploiting cutting-edge research in mathematics and algorithm design. Geometry is now a critical tool in a large number of key applications; somewhat surprisingly, however, several approaches of the CAD industry are outdated, and 3D geometry processing is becoming increasingly the weak link. This is alarming in sectors where CAD faces new challenges arising from fast point acquisition, big data, and mobile computing, but also in robotics, simulation, animation, fabrication and manufacturing where CAD strives to address crucial societal and market needs. The challenge taken up by ARCADES is to invert the trend of CAD industry lagging behind mathematical breakthroughs and to build the next generation of CAD software based on strong foundations from algebraic geometry, differential geometry, scientific computing, and algorithm design. Our game-changing methods lead to real-time modelers for architectural geometry and visualisation, to isogeometric and design-through-analysis software for shape optimisation, and marine design & hydrodynamics, and to tools for motion design, robot kinematics, path planning, and control of machining tools. One of the Network SMEs estimates that the innovative impact of ARCADES may enable them to get ahead of competition for up to 2 years, thus benefiting about 40% of their customers. The participants span a multidisciplinary and multisectoral spectrum for realising our vision, all being international leaders at various stages of the pipeline. They form an outstanding ecosystem for training the next generation of applied mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers for achieving our scientific breakthroughs, and who are equipped with a double career advantage: excellent research training, and exposure to industrial research environments through a nexus of secondments among Universities, Research and Innovation Centers, and industrial teams.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.53M | Year: 2012

Freeform shapes represent one of todays important manufacturing challenges. This applies to numerically controlled (NC) machining of parts to be produced in large amounts as well as to outer surfaces and subconstructions for unique designs in modern architecture. However, currently no systematic method exists which could reconcile the competing aims of faithfully reproducing smooth surfaces with their efficient segmentation into easily manufacturable parts. GEMS aims to overcome this challenge by a geometric approach: We consider surfaces generated by the motion of either a milling tool or a profile curve, and investigate their properties and approximation power. Our ultimate goal is to algorithmically determine a segmentation of freeform surfaces into parts exactly manufacturable by a single sweep. This amounts to highly nonlinear optimization with side conditions originating in both geometry and manufacturing and requires a detailed shape analysis. Subsequently these mathematical results have to be expressed in terms of manufacturing processes, such as NC milling, styrofoam cutting, or the building of molds from a sequence of simple curves. Successful completion of this research would mean a very significant contribution to the manufacturing of freeform shapes, and indeed some complex tasks will be made feasible for the first time. We strongly believe that the proposed consortium of five partners has the capacity and knowledge to achieve success: (1) ModuleWorks, a leading provider of CAD/CAM software components (2) TU Wien, a university with deep knowledge in geometry processing and differential geometry (3) Technion, an internationally renowned technical school very successful in computer aided geometric design (4) Evolute, a high tech start up company specializing in geometric computing for architecture and manufacturing (5) ModuleWorks Romania, a ModuleWorks daughter and highly experienced in computational solutions for 5-axis machining.

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